In Charity Begins at Home, the opening episode of the series, Joe is slowly settling into his new world in the heart of Surrey’s stockbroker belt but his agreeing to work for a charity organisation (he is having a fling with the MD’s wife) for free is creating big issues with his partner in Lampton & Soames. When Joe discovers that all is not well behind the scenes at the charity it promises to create big problems for everyone.
Opening with a fantastic internal monologue by Lampton as he sets the scene of his success and life so far as he drives around London in his luxury ‘motor’ (an Aston Martin DBS no less) before switching to Lampton in bed with his latest conquest this first episode sets out its stall perfectly. There is a nice dynamic put in place too, Joe’s wife Susan makes it plain that if he doesn’t stop his affair with Jonni she will leave him. It’s also made plain that Joe definitely does not want this as it Susan’s money (well that of her father anyway) that has helped get him where he is so far. He also shows his strengths when Jonni’s husband George discovers the two of them inflagrante.
“isn’t your first duty to your wife and children…”
UK / ITV Network – Thames / 1×60 minute episode / Broadcast 14 December 1970
Writer: John Braine / Production Design: Patrick Downing, Stan Woodward / Director: Dennis Vance
Series: Man At The Top Season 1 Episode 1
ANN LYNN as Jonni Devon
DONALD HOUSTON as George Devon
SUSAN ENGEL as Laura Wilton
JULIE MARTIN as Maria Briar
DAVID HANSON as Stewart Briar
PETER BETON as Jerry Bodine
JOAN CRANE as Moira Darwin